Friday, March 26, 2010

A little weighed down

Millie and I had an adventure today.  We even dragged David, my dad, and a random young couple and their little boy in to it.

I decided it would be fun to take the train to Portland with Amelia.  I figured it would be less stressful to ride rather than drive, so I bought the $28 one-way ticket and, while nervous, was optimistic.  How bad could it be?  Just like taking a plane, right?  A lot of help with bags - just check them at the front counter and carry on your small bags and, in my case, my baby.  So, I packed a very large suitcase and planned to take the car seat by wrapping it in a garbage bag.

There is a train station just about 6 miles from our house and that seemed a little too convenient but, like I said, I was optimistic.  A friend who initially told us about the train and how great of a trip it is came over on Wednesday to hang out with Amelia and me.  I told her that we were leaving from the station closest to us and she said "You know that's an unmanned station, right?  You pretty much just walk up and get on the train.  But, I'm sure the conductor will step off the train and help you with your stuff."

Okay.  I got even more nervous but I was still picturing an actual train station that you walk up to, walk inside, maybe get a cup of coffee, relax, check your bags, and eventually get on the train.

Imagine my surprise when David drove me to the train station in the Back 40 and it was a raised platform with some shabby wooden overhangs as covering and absolutely nowhere to check any bags.  It was pouring down rain and David grabbed the baby in her car seat and the diaper bag while I had my big suitcase rolling behind me as well as another carry-on.  We realized we had to cross to the other side of the platform where the south-bound train will approach via a walkway under the platform then up what felt like a steep incline to the little bus-stop-like shelters to wait for the train.  I have to give a shout-out to David.  He (twice) scoped out the area and went up to walk around the platform to find out where we needed to go so that the baby and I could stay warm and dry in the car.  Love him.

The train approached and the conductor stepped off to help me with my bags.  I said goodbye to David and boarded.  He stood outside the window and waved to us, then snapped this photo:
I think it's a funny picture because Amelia is smiling at David and he's literally jogging alongside the train to take the picture.

The ride itself went just fine.  Amelia didn't want to eat any formula which didn't surprise me.  When a lot is happening around her she just refuses to drink formula and, when I was nursing, she refused to nurse.  So, she got a lot of solid foods on the train including raisins, a toasted bagel and each bite I dipped in apple blueberry baby food, yogurt bites, and Cheerios.  About an hour after we left she zonked out in my arms and I was able to lay her down in the seat next to me which, fortunatly, was never filled even though every other seat was filled.

Unfortunately she only slept for about half an hour until a loud noise woke her up, but I was able to flip through a few pages of a magazine and doze off for a little bit while she slept which was great.

A few times, a young couple walked past with their adorable 2-year-old son who was dressed in blue and white striped overalls and a matching conductor's hat.  CUTE.  The first time Amelia saw them, she said "HI" plain as day.  It was so sweet that I called David and told him about it. 

The conductor who helped me with my bags to get on the train was so nice and actually he stopped by a couple of times during the trip to tell me what a good baby I had.  However, he was nowhere to be found when we arrived in Portland.  Instead, another very grouchy conductor helped me.  I told him where the first conductor put my bags and as he was lifting them off the train and onto the platform he growled at me that my bags were illegal in size and weight and that I shouldn't have been allowed to carry them on.  I told him that I had planned to check them but there was nowhere to check them. 

He said, "Well, there probably was a place but you just didn't get there in time to find it!" 

I was dumbfounded.  I didn't know what to say, so I just mumbled something like "Actually that's not the case..." and then he said "Oh, wait, where did you get on the train?"

When I answered him, he said "Oh, yeah - there isn't a place there to check bags.  Sorry, miss, sorry.  Sorry about that."

Maybe he was just having a bad day - I hope he doesn't treat every customer that way.

He set my bags on the platform and left.  So, picture this.  I'm carrying the following:

- a 17ish lb baby
- a diaper bag
- a messenger bag
- a car seat in a garbage bag
- and I'm pulling a large suitcase behind me

Yeah, it wasn't working well.  I tried, but the train station entrance looked like the finish line of a marathon and I was standing at the start.  I opened my big bag just enough to grab the Bjorn.  Unfortunately, the last time I wore the Bjorn I undid all the hooks and buttons on it so I was having a really hard time trying to hold Amelia and figure out how to put on this contraption.  About that time the young couple with the 2-year-old son walked by me.  I thought I was the only one left on the platform but was relieved to see them and especially relieved and extremely grateful when they offered to help carry some of my load.  I had asked my dad to come in to the train station to meet me since I knew I wouldn't be able to get all of my luggage so luckily he was standing right inside the door as we walked in. 

My dad took me to my all-time favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch on the way to their house and Amelia enjoyed more yogurt bites and some sticky rice.  I enjoyed General Tso chicken.

Amelia still, even though I had tried several times, wouldn't drink formula at all.  Of course I was worried because she hadn't had even a drop since 5:45am and here it was 1:20pm.  But, when we got to a quiet room before her nap she drank some and that made me feel better.  However, her nap was only an hour long.  So, she had a total of an hour and a half of sleep between 5:45am and 8:00pm when she went to bed.  For her, being overtired means being upset about bedtime.  I tried rocking her but she fought me so I let her cry.  She fell asleep about 40 minutes later after some crying and whining. 

It's been a long day and I don't know why I'm still awake.  Amelia had so much fun today playing with her cousins.   Here's Amelia and Anna with Caleb.  He's such a good big brother/cousin and the babies love him.

Amelia and Kate

The girls with Caleb

Amelia sported her "UW" turtleneck and socks today to support the University of Washington Huskies since they were in the Sweet Sixteen, but they lost to West Virginia.  Oh well!

Tomorrow we have a lot going on but I'm looking forward to this weekend with family even though I miss David.  My mom's birthday was today so tomorrow we celebrate since she was busy tonight.

I have to go to bed - it's almost 1am!  I got 5 hours of sleep last night so I really need to try to squeeze in as much as I can.


1 comments commented:

byLGD Glass Jewelry said...

omg! i'm totalllly impressed jamie! seriously. that's a lot to deal with, being on the train, different people everywhere, all that baggage... ugh. you did great and what a fun trip! i have often wondered if it would be fun to take the train somewhere... you made it sound very lovely indeed. :) (except for the grouchies)

amelia is precious and how lucky is she to be so close in age with her cutie cousins!? that's just so sweet! besties in the making.